category:asian

anonymous asked:

The story I would like to write is about a Korean American girl who's a Gumiho (or Kumiho depending on spelling). She's adopted by a Japanese Kitsune family and has always thought she was one too. When she finds out that she's not, she starts being afraid of hurting her friends. I wanted to play with the Kumiho being always chaotic evil in myths, but I'm a little worried that I would be portraying Koreans as bad people in general though. It's a world where Kitsune, Kumiho, & Huli jing coexist.

Demonization of Koreans

I’m actually wondering why the kumiho is portrayed as chaotic evil while the kitsune aren’t. I’m not that great with East Asian mythology, but one of the things that does stand out is that fox spirits in East Asia (China/Japan/Korea) are pretty much all considered chaotic evil to some extent? Like there’s some exceptions that do exist, but it always seems like in general they’re all demonic/antagonistic, so I find anon’s reasoning arbitrary.

I invite my fellow East Asians that are more well-versed in kitsune, kumiho, and hulijing to comment. I admit to being out of my depth here.

—mod Jess 

I’m not well-versed in East Asian mythology, either! I do know that kumiho are often seen as malevolent. Ancient Korean texts, however, don’t seem to paint them as unilaterally evil. I don’t know much about kitsune or huli jing.

One solution to your issue, Anon, is to have more Korean characters in your text, so it’s clear that you’re not painting all Koreans as evil.

While there’s a mythological component to your work, there’s also themes like East Asian identity, Asian American identity, adoption, innate evil, etc within your work, and being prepared to tackle those as sensitively and empathetically as possible is going to be important. Please do not overlook researching things like the experiences of adoptees while you write, particularly Korean American adoptees. 

As Jess said, though, we’d love to hear from fellow East Asians on this one. What’s your take? If you’ve got advice or insight for Anon, please share!

~mod Stella